The substance known as rice paper in Europe due to the mistaken notion that it is made from rice consists of the pith of a small tree, Aralia papyrifera, which grows in the swampy forests of Taiwan. The cylindrical core of pith is rolled on a hard flat surface against a knife, by which it is cut into thin sheets of a fine ivory-like texture. Dyed in various colors, rice paper is extensively used for the preparation of artificial flowers, while the white sheets are employed by native artists for watercolor drawings.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please update as needed.